Some people are natural athletes. They lose weight because they “forget” to eat…That is not me. I don’t know about you, but if my body had gauges to describe its current status it would default to “hungry.” My athletic ability would sit at a somewhat stagnant “average” and my stamina leaves something to be desired.
I have decided to change that.
I’ll admit that I do run on occasion, but never consistently, and never at a pace that I am proud of. This series is an attempt to grow, challenge, and sustain. I want to be healthier, faster, stronger, and any other adjective that is indicative of progress.
All of that to say, I am starting a program called Couch to 5K… and I want you to join me. I will be checking in each week as I complete the tiered weekly challenges to let you know how I am doing.
What you’ll want/need:
Clearly when you are running outside, in the Pre-Summer (Spring stopped when the pollen did, right? Now it’s just Pre-Summer.) you’d think that shorts would be the best option, but I have always felt more comfortable running in tights. I find there is no ride up or ride down and a proper pair will protect your legs from rubbing together. I linked my favorite pair below. This is an affiliate link, but I wouldn’t endorse them if I didn’t 100% back them. One word: POCKETS.
A tanktop/breathable t-shirt, sunscreen, socks, running shoes, and decent sports bra are the only other items I think you NEED. I’m not committed to any shoes in particular, I wear a pair of ASICS that I got on sale at Academy. I also haven’t found the one for sports bras like I have for tights. You may also want to wear a fitness watch of some sort- I wear a FitBit Versa and I love it.
Here is how the program works:
You build endurance over time by starting off with small shifts of walking and jogging three times a week. You slowly shift the ratio to more running than walking until you are basically accidentally running the whole time. At that point, you go and run a 5K! Could it really be that easy? It’s supposed to be anyways.
Days 1-3 are all the same for this one. 5 minute warm up walk (this part is consistent for each week, but for clarity, I will just be redundant), then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking 8 times, followed by a 3 minute cool down.
Days 1-3 start with a 5 minute warm up walk, then alternate 90 seconds of jogging with 2 minutes of walking, followed by a 3 minute cooldown. Doesn’t sound so difficult, right? Don’t worry, it gets worse.
Days 1-3 start with a 5 minute warm up walk, THEN you run through this twice- 90 seconds jogging, 90 seconds walking, 3 minutes jogging, 3 minutes walking. Then a 3 minute cooldown. And yes, I did say three minutes jogging… I’m already anxious about this one.
Days 1-3 start with a 5 minute warm up walk, then jog for 3 minutes, walk for 90 seconds, jog for 5 minutes, walk for 2.5 minutes, jog 3 minutes, walk for 90 seconds, jog 5 minutes, then a 3 minute cooldown. I promise that I was not a typo. Apparently our lung capacity will like straight up double between week 3 and 4… we can do this!
Week 5 (AKA the ”you have got to be kidding me” week)
This one has different challenges per day.
D1- 5 minute warm up walk, jog 5 minutes, walk for 3 minutes, jog for 5 minutes, walk for 3 minutes, jog for 5 minutes. Finish with a 3 minute cooldown.
D2- 5 minute warm up, jog for .75 miles (or 8 minutes), walk for .5 miles (or 5 minutes), jog for .75 miles (8 minutes). Three minute cooldown. Clearly trying to kill us.
D3- 5 minute warm up walk followed by JOGGING TWO MILES (or 20 minutes)… I have faith in us. I am optimistic.
D1- 5 minute warm up, jog for 5 minutes, walk for 3 minutes, jog for 8 minutes, walk for 3 minutes, jog for 5 minutes, 3 minute cooldown. This actually sounds like cake by comparison… Is this a trick? A mind game?
D2- 5 minute warm up, jog for one mile (10 minutes), walk for .25 mile (3 minutes), jog for one mile (10 minutes), 3 minute cooldown. Oh there it is again… the talking in miles instead of minutes thing.
D3- 5 minute warm up, jog 2.25 miles with no walking… Yeah… still optimistic that I won’t be dead for the 3 minute cooldown.
Days 1-3 start with a 5 minute warm up walk, then jog for 2.5 miles. 3 minute cooldown. I’m starting to think that maybe there is some magical science to this that will protect us?
Week 8 The final countdown
Days 1-2 start with a 5 minute warm up, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes), 3 minute cooldown… sounds like nothing at this point, really.
Day 3- 5 minute warm up, then jog 3 miles…Easy?
Today I completed W1D1. I jog/walked for a total of 1.77 miles and burned approximately 251 calories according to my Fitbit. This victory is nothing compared to the victory of total exhaustion from my dog, Furiosa (Furi, for short). She passed out the moment we got home, which is great because she is incredibly high energy. I’m not sure if having her go with me will do more harm than good though… maybe her stamina will go up too? I can only hope not.
I’m looking forward to ramping up my running ability, and perhaps to tiring my dog out at the same time. What are you looking forward to? Tell me in the comments below!